Namibia Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program

Program overview

The Namibia Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (NamFELTP) started in 2012 with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Namibia. The program started with the three-month basic or Frontline training and, in 2014, the two-year advanced training began. The NamFELTP is housed within the Epidemiology Division under the Health Information and Research Directorate of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The program is fully within the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The program is run in collaboration with the University of Namibia which matriculates residents of the two-year advanced program in a Master of Science in Applied Field Epidemiology degree program.

We train a team-mix of medical doctors, nurses, veterinarians, laboratory scientists and environmental practitioners. The objectives of the program are:

  • To strengthen public health capacity by developing a cadre of health professionals with advanced skills in applied epidemiology and laboratory management
  • To improve national capacity to address prominent health concerns and to respond to public health emergencies
  • To strengthen national surveillance and analytical capacity through a team approach (physicians, nurses, surveillance officers, veterinarians, laboratorians and environmental health professionals)

 The program produces highly skilled public health experts with advanced knowledge in field epidemiology to respond to any public health emergency or threat.


Residents and alumni have led over 35 outbreak investigations and have strengthened more than 61 surveillance systems at various levels through surveillance system evaluation, surveillance data analysis and planned epidemiological studies. To date, more than 35 epidemiological studies have been conducted. Surveillance data analyses have resulted in better decision-making, and epidemiological studies and other investigations have led to policy change which has improved the health system.

Our graduates are now playing the role of national and subnational epidemiologists and leading all national public health emergency responses in the country including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our residents and alumni have presented at all TEPHINET and African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) conferences since the inception of the program. NamFELTP residents and alumni have presented 48 abstracts made up of 14 (29.2%) oral and 34 (70.8%) posters, with four award winning presentations in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021 and one award for photo contest in 2021. More than 10 publications have been published in peer-reviewed journals.